Thursday, February 10, 2005

"Monuments of the Future": Designs by El Lissitsky

(via MithridatesPosted by Hello

farewell Jimmy Smith master of the B3 Posted by Hello
Extraordinary Rendition

"During the flight, Arar said, he heard the pilots and crew identify themselves in radio communications as members of “the Special Removal Unit.” The Americans, he learned, planned to take him next to Syria. Having been told by his parents about the barbaric practices of the police in Syria, Arar begged crew members not to send him there, arguing that he would surely be tortured. His captors did not respond to his request; instead, they invited him to watch a spy thriller that was aired on board."
Literary deconstruction and the Bush administration's legal reasoning

"Whether or not this meaning was intended by Congress, the way Bybee claims to find the meaning derives from an ungoverned and unscrupulous reading that uses—very selectively—dictionary definitions to produce arcane and obfuscating interpretations. It's like a parody of a deconstructive reading written by a hostile critic.

I will refrain from citing the next paragraph, which takes us into the meaning of "disrupt," as "to break asunder; to part forcibly; to rend." (Here we are back with his 1935 Webster's, and a definition my 1975 American Heritage declares "obsolete." What about a more usual definition, such as "to upset the order of"?) But Bybee needs to come out, at the end of his paragraph, with: "Those acts must penetrate to the core of an individual's ability to perceive the world around him, substantially interfering with his cognitive abilities, or fundamentally alter his personality."

Even Abu Ghraib doesn't make it to torture under this definition."

this paradigmatic Vancouver yard in February from 365 Sketches by Adam Harrison Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What's In Popeye's Pipe?

"In addition, anti-marijuana propaganda of the time claimed that marijuana use induced super-strength. Overblown media reports proclaimed that pot smokers became extraordinarily strong, and even immune to bullets. So tying in Popeye's mighty strength with his sucking back some spinach would have seemed like an obvious cannabis connection at the time.

Further, as a 'sailor-man,' Popeye would be expected to be familiar with exotic herbs from distant locales. Indeed, sailors were among the first to introduce marijuana to American culture, bringing the herb back with them from their voyages overseas."" Posted by Hello

They don't make them like Ben Gazzara anymore. Posted by Hello

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Ghost of a Flea, William Blake (c. 1819-20)

"The ghost's spine is a throbbing, gristly column shooting into his scaly head with its bulging eyes and voracious tongue; his massive muscles are red-toned, as if infused with dried blood, and his loping, crushing walk is that of a colossus come to life. This vastness and mad-eyed bestiality contrasts with the visible form of the spirit's physical embodiment, which can be seen on the floor between his veined legs: a little flea." Posted by Hello

Dame Miriam Rothschild 1908-2005

"Miriam Rothschild's position as the world authority in her field was confirmed by her Catalogue of the Rothschild Collection of Fleas in the British Museum, Volumes I to VI, which appeared at intervals from 1953 to 1983. She liked to keep her live specimen fleas in cellophane bags in her bedroom - "so that I can see what they are doing and so children do not annoy them"." Posted by Hello

lots of great Pinhole Photographs of NYC and London (via metafilter) Posted by Hello

Egg Saturday,
Quinquagesima Sunday
Collop Monday...

Shrove Tuesday

 Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005

a couple of mp3's from Neko Case

"I fell in love with Neko Case one night when, at a New Pornographers show, she settled a couple of song-requesting hecklers with the admonishment, 'Why don't you shut up, you hipster indie snobs!' " Posted by Hello

farewell John Vernon TV's Wojeck and a memorably complex villain in two of my very favorite movies "Point Blank" and "Charley Varrick". Posted by Hello

lovely series on Bohemian New York Posted by Hello

interview with the great Anjelica Houston. I watched her in two of her best this week, "The Grifters" & "The Witches"... Posted by Hello
more on Sam Johnson, and Gertrude Stein at Hotel Point

"What struck me in the Johnson, originally, is, rather, what he claims regarding Shakespeare and the “quibble”—by which he means “pun,” wherein so often impact’d lies the stark commencement of a (primarily) musical journey, the rightest thing Shakespeare does. Not so, says Johnson:

A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapors are to the traveler; he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way and sure to engulf him in the mire. It has some malignant power over his mind and its fascinations are irresistible. [Ain’t it always the case with music. See Orfeo. “Orfeo mest of ani thing / Lovede the gle of harping.” See the threnodies of the second liners “processionalizing” back along Magazine, they’s a parade an’ I gots to jine . . .] Whatever be the dignity or profundity of his disquisition, whether he be enlarging knowledge or exalting affection, whether he be amusing attention with incidents or enchaining it in suspense, let but a quibble spring up before him and he leaves his work unfinished. A quibble is the golden apple for which he will always turn aside from his career or stoop from his elevation. A quibble, poor and barren as it is, gave him such delight that he was content to purchase it by the sacrifice of reason, propriety, and truth. A quibble was to him the fatal Cleopatra . . .

Keats had it all wrong. Beauty and truth both scuttle along in music’s wake. And reasonable souls’ll always dispute that. Unreasonable souls’ll quibble."
how to get Rodney Graham & Kim Gordon to leave your record store, etc.

"KG It's usually techno that drives me out.

RG Yeah, techno's not really my thing either.

KG The square sound waves. I just can't take it."

(thanks Chris)